Early Retirement On Ambergris Caye, Belize
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
At what age should you think about retiring overseas?
It's almost never too late...or too early.
Laurie Norton and Paul Jewitt, two easygoing Canadians, low-key and modest, started
their new lives in Belize four years ago, as young 30-somethings.
As Belize Correspondent Ann Kuffner explains, "Laurie and Paul are part of an
emerging trend. Move over, Baby Boomers! An increasing number of adventurous 30- and
40-year-olds are making their mark on the local San Pedro Town scene here on
Ambergris Caye. They're making their way down here to La Isla Bonita with small
savings and pockets full of dreams, and they're starting small businesses so they
can stick around.
"Laurie and Paul, for example, had vacationed in the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Mexico,
Puerto Rico, and Florida. Each time they returned to Toronto, they were more
determined to escape the winters. Laurie kept pushing Paul to make their move sooner
rather than later.
"A series of 'going nowhere' retail jobs made it easy for Laurie to leave Canada.
Paul had worked for high-powered companies like Edward Jones and Mosaic, in
advertising and business development. Along the way, he picked up web design. Then
he became an independent contractor. He felt he'd be able to make a living anywhere.
"Laurie and Paul finally made their move in January 2006. Destination: Belize. First
stop: San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. It was love at first sight, with the island
and with the people. Why? 'Of all the places we've visited,' Laurie explains, 'this
is the quirkiest, funniest, and friendliest.'
"The first year in Belize they tightened their belts and became volunteers. 'We
recommend that everyone spend time volunteering when they make a move to a new
country,' Laurie explains. 'It's a great way to meet people and to quickly fit into
"Thanks to their volunteering, they easily made new friends. Doors began to open.
"In 2007, Paul helped Laurie start a blog about living on Ambergris Caye. Initially,
Laurie used it to keep in touch with friends and family. She tried to show them a
slice of her new life on this quirky Caribbean island.
"Laurie has always focused on giving her readers a fun, colorful depiction of
everyday life on Ambergris Caye.
"'Little did I imagine,' Laurie says, 'that, due to the Belize message boards and
people's love for Ambergris Caye, my blog would take off the way it did and turn
into a full-time job.'
"Laurie's blog, tacogirl.com, is geared toward expats and travelers. Over the past
three years, it's gained a worldwide following. Readers tune in to get their daily
fix of life on Ambergris Caye. It features a mix of island life, travel tips, local
news, and restaurant and resort reviews.
"In 2009, Laurie traveled to San Francisco to accept a Lonely Planet Travel Blogger
Award. After only two years, the tacogirl.com blog won their popular vote for the
Best Image Blog. It will be featured in 'Great Destinations Guidebook.'
"What about Paul? He started two more web-related businesses. AmbergrisDaily.com is
a local news blog and AmbergrisVacations.com is focused on travel.
"Is the Taco Twosome happy living on Ambergris Caye?
"'We celebrated our four-year anniversary this year, and we've loved every minute of
being here,' Laurie says. 'While it has not always been easy, we have no regrets.
Making this move was the best thing we ever did.'"
Publisher Live and Invest Overseas
Reef, Ruins, Rivers, and Rain Forest...
Plus Easy Residency and Tax-Free Living
Belize is home to the world's biggest concentration of Mayan sites. Two of the most
spectacular are Lamanaii, the largest continually occupied city in the Maya world,
and ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal), to the west, in the Cayo District. To reach it, you
travel through a forest and then swim through a cave...
Belize has also the second largest barrier reef in the world. It's world-class
snorkeling and scuba diving and a fisherman's paradise. Not to mention the island
nightlife scene, complete with frozen cocktails and live music...
Belize is rain forest tours, horseback riding in the mountains, hikes to the 1,000
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into shallow pools perfect for an afternoon swim...
This little paradise on the Caribbean also happens to have one of the world's
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